Local Assembly Connecticut

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Blogroll / Local Assemblies

We happily announce three events in Connecticut over the next three months exploring three different themes!

The first, on soil health and natural fibers, takes place on Saturday 7th March 2020, 6-8pm at The Studio Fairfield.

The Assembly will convene a diverse panel representing ranch, farm, and city; policy makers, practitioners, and economic development:

  • Nancy Cowser, executive director, Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region, New London 
  • Trent Loos, sixth-generation Central Nebraskan rancher, writer, radio host, Rural Route Radio, and member of President Trump’s agriculture advisory board 
  • Anne McIntyre-Lahner, owner-operator, Olympia Farm, Guilford, Connecticut; past president, the Connecticut Sheep Breeders Association; current Vice President, the American Romney Breeders Association; with 37 years in human services, including 26 years with the State of Connecticut, serving in numerous management roles in the Judicial Branch and Department of Children and Families
  • William Calvert, TILL: bFt CCO, a creative leader working internationally within image-making, product design, trans-media marketing, and multi-level team management 

Jane Philbrick, TILL: bFt artist founder, moderates. The conversation will range freely around the theme of soil and natural fibers, with a special focus on American and Northeastern American wools, toward building community awareness of our reviving domestic textile and apparel economies. 

The evening highlights the opportunity our heritage of land stewardship and design innovation offers Connecticut communities to lead in the global challenge for planetary well-being.


The Studio Fairfield is a six-minute walk from Fairfield Station, MetroNorth, New Haven line.

Please note that the other two Connecticut events are about:

  • fashion business model innovation (April, TBD)
  • community-based labs and biomaterials, convening scientists, engineers, designers, and artists (May, New London)

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

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Blogroll / Wiki-editathon

It is time for the Union’s yearly collaborative wikipedia edit-a-thon!

On 26th February 2020 we will revisit the “sustainable fashion” page on Wikipedia to add and update its content. The page is an entry-point and resource with an average of 400-500 daily visits, so the UCRF hopes to keep the information as reliable as possible. We are happy much of the information and links to resources and peer-reviewed articles and books has been added to the page, as well as a critical analysis on the topics related to sustainable fashion. A recap of last year’s edit-a-thon is here.

Now, on February 26th, volunteers from the Union signatories are invited to yet again collectively manifest an ‘activist knowledge ecology’ by editing the sustainable fashion page on Wikipedia. We aim to make this a recurring yearly event to keep the page an accurate and critical resource on the topic.

It is our hope that Union members can help add a global perspective on sustainable fashion, adding more perspectives and voices on sustainable fashion. Also, after merging the “sustainable clothing” page last year, we see a definite need for more references and links to the material and fiber sciences as well as life-cycle analysis, just to name a few topics. 

Members of the UCRF board will be active between 3pm South Africa / 1 pm London / 8am New York to 11pm UK / 6pm NY / 3pm SF

Here’s a guide to getting started editing on Wikipedia:

1. Familiarise yourself with how to edit a Wiki page. I recommend the resources here: http://www.artandfeminism.org/editing-kit/ (these pages focus on gender, but the underlying editing issues are all relevant). There are some Wiki principles to familiarise yourself with and some basic editing tools that will help you. 

2. Open https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Sustainable_fashion and click edit. 

3. Create a Wikipedia account if you want to. It is your choice. There is some guidance available to help you make various decisions by following the links. 

4. Open our designated chat room and meet whoever is online https://meet.jit.si/RuthlessBearsLaughRuthlessly There will be a host in the chatroom throughout the session. The chat room has been set up to enable interaction between the editors whilst the editing is live. The host will greet you and be available for conversation. It is unlikely the host will be able to answer all questions, but will help figure out the answers where possible. 

5. Choose a section to edit on the Sustainable Fashion Wikipedia page. To prevent ‘conflicts’ because different people are working on the same section, consider to work with about one sentence at the time. If you work on larger sections, send a quick message in the chat room to say which section you are working on. It isn’t the end of the world if more than one person edits the same section at the same time, but it will require some manual editing afterwards which won’t be much fun…!

6. Get going editing. Wikipedia is fairly intuitive and there are lots of links to help pages. Start with a small edit and build your confidence, or add one reference or link. There are no specific UCRF guidelines about what to edit other than Principle 1 of the Union of Concerned Researchers manifesto: Create an ‘activist knowledge ecology’, that is, to develop a system of knowledge about fashion sustainability that is concerned with how knowledge is organised and shared as well as the data points themselves and to direct such a system purposefully towards fostering change

6. When you publish you will be asked to describe your changes – mention briefly what your edit is about.

7. You can use the ‘Talk’ tab at the top of the Wiki page to discuss issues with the wider Wikipedia community that is interested in editing the Sustainable Fashion page. 

Communiqué from Vancouver Local Assembly

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Blogroll / Local Assemblies

On 30 November 2019, the event Local Futures: Local Fibres took place organised as a Local Assembly. Huge gratitude and respect for all those who participated and for the facilitators who have also put together this report.

Vancouver Local Assembly

The event started with an activity called ‘Quilted Discourse,’ where groups had two assigned topics with a series of questions to help guide the conversations. After each topic of discussion we asked the participants to draw or make notes of whatever stood out to them in the discussions on squares of paper. The papers were later scanned and laser etched onto denim that was donated by a local business. The squares were then sewn into a quilted tapestry that symbolize the discourse generated at our meetup around sustainability, community and textiles.

Quilt tapestry

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Protest banners at the People’s History Museum

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Activities / Blogroll

The People’s History Museum in Manchester, England, is the UK’s national centre for the collection, interpretation and study of material relating to the history of working people in the UK and it has a fabulous collection of protest banners from the last 150 years. For any Union members considering how to activate support for radical action in fashion, banner making might be the perfect place to start… It is also an activity that can potentially be combined with a Local Assembly and with the upswing in marches and school strikes, there may be plenty of opportunities to take it onto the streets or certainly adorn our studios, offices and classrooms.

The protest banners at the People’s History Museum combine fabric, stitch, paint, iron-on interfacing, fringe (lots of fringe). The base cloth varies from silk to polyester and cotton. Some are huge, some small…

Amalgamated Society of Engineers, 1919.
Blue silk, yellow silk border, oil paint, yellow wool fringe

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